The work culture was great. It was empowering. We had the power to do what needed to be done if we could justify it. We had commitments at the beginning of every week and accountability at the end. Of course, we couldn’t always deliver on our commitments. Whether we committed to reasonable goals was another story. Sometimes I wanted more, sometimes I was pushed for more. But that’s not what the advice was exactly about. Continue Reading!
Awhile ago, in 9 Chess Principles You Can Apply to Your Life, we explored how chess principles mimic life and how they offer valuable insights to our lives. A few years later, I realized a very important principle was missing: break the rules.
Chess is a beautiful game and will continue to be one of the most intriguing games, sports, and forms of art. So let’s consider the 10th chess principle for a more strategic lifestyle: Continue Reading!
Brewing is a beautiful process that dates back as far as 5,000 B.C. It is believed to be the first and oldest recipe in human history. It began with ancient Egyptians, later medieval brewers, after with abbey monks, and it continues today by many home brewers and breweries across the world. As brewers learn and become more experienced by brewing many batches and refining their brewing principles, certain patterns begin to emerge. Brewing principles often mimic life and offer valuable insights. Consider the following for a more strategic lifestyle:
Queen Elizabeth II: “It doesn’t feel right, as Head of State, to do nothing.”
Queen Mary: “It is exactly right.”
Queen Elizabeth II: “Is it? But surely doing nothing is no job at all?”
Queen Mary: “To do nothing is the hardest job of all. And it will take every ounce of energy that you have.”
-Dialogue is from The Crown TV Series Season 1, Episode 4, 53m:59s Continue Reading!
Modernity tries to convince you that having children is not good for the world. Intellectuals have unending arguments about why you shouldn’t have kids. They say: “It’s bad for the environment, humans are destroying the world,” or “We don’t need more poverty in the world,” or “Who wants to deal with a crying baby?” etc. They might be right, but they’re also wrong. Intellectuals always think they know better. Conflating the macro and the micro is not the same thing: whether or not you believe resources are scarce has nothing to do with the parenting experience. No amount of reasoning can help escape the wonders of what parenting brings. Continue Reading!
Often times we feel like we’re stuck. We want to move forward but, you know, it’s just hard. Sometimes I wonder: could moving forward be easier than it seems? Perhaps we overthink matters, or maybe we just complicate the way we approach different situations. Certainly, we might benefit from carefully strategizing a plan of action to solve certain problems. But this insight is not about that. This insight is a quick and easy guide to keep moving forward when every day obstacles keep us stuck and unable to make progress. Continue Reading!
There is no doubt that understanding what being and doing is, their differences, and how they relate to each other, can have a lasting impact on the quality of your life. We live in an informational era where we are almost exclusively concerned with How-To’s, like how to fix your leaking sink or how to grill salmon. This makes sense because for the first time in history, we have so much access to information, that we can learn most anything and apply a lot of it for our benefit. The fact is that articles that are not How-To just don’t get enough traction. But what about a guideline or a How-To for a fulfilling life? There isn’t one because there’s no step by step on how to live life. Life is too broad, and being tends to be vague and hard to measure.
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” – Archimedes
If you could change something in your life, what would it be, and how would you do it? It’s romantic to think that we can power through situations, but reality shows that’s not very effective. Often times we just want to work very hard, but that’s neither sustainable nor enjoyable. In some circumstances, will power is just exhausting and easily depleted. However, leveraging your life is not about trying hard, it’s about realizing you could do more and do better with levers. Think of levers as tools you can utilize to have a greater impact with less effort. If you set yourself to find and use these leverage points, you will amplify the quantity and quality of whatever you do. Continue Reading!
My Top 10 Books.
King Ecbert: “I want to talk to you about books, Alfred.”
Alfred: “Books, Grandfather?”
King Ecbert: “Yes. If you are going to be King one day, you need to understand that books are just as important as swords or plowshares. These are some works by great writers that I read and translated from Latin as a young man. And this, this is a work by Gregory the Great. Now, he asks questions such as, “What kind of man he is or ought to be, who is to rule?” And um… “Can the occupation of power distract the mind of the ruler?””
Alfred: [stares quietly]
King Ecbert: “Yes, well, I can see that you’re bored already.”
Alfred: “No, Grandfather.”
King Ecbert: “No? Oh, well, that’s good. A king should know how to be bored and not show it. Good boy.” Continue Reading!
How to optimize results and avoid waste.
Imagine walking into a grocery store and noticing how neatly different sections are organized. Stores are compartmentalizing gurus. Of course, stores scrutinize where to place each aisle in order to make the most profit. They focus on ease of navigation and flow. For instance, you’re more likely to buy beverages if you first walk through the produce section. Costco will offer their rotisserie chicken for a bargain, but they have it placed all the way at the back of the warehouse. They know how to maximize results, and in this insight we’ll explore how you can benefit from this strategy too. Continue Reading!
What can the tundra teach you about thriving in harsh environments?
We tend to believe that facing difficult situations is all about having thick skin. But is it? Could we face difficult situations better? The tundra hides an important lesson: there is always a way to face challenges in a more affirmative manner. In the most adverse weather, the tundra’s flora and fauna learns when to expand and when to contract. To grow as a human being requires adversity to a certain extent. To celebrate requires effort first. You must learn how to plant the seeds now that you want to harvest later. These 3 simple strategies to face difficult situations will show you how life thrives even in one of the harshest climates of the world and what you can learn from it. Continue Reading!
What do you get when you package the collective wisdom of people into a phrase? A proverb. The following proverbs are a collection of proverbs from most regions in the world. As you read them, see if any given proverb inspires you to change something, to widen your perspective, or simply to enjoy the wisdom civilizations have passed down to us! Here are the 26 proverbs to ignite wisdom in your life: Continue Reading!
How to accelerate your success.
There’s way too much focus on failure. A not so old saying claims you need to fail X amount of times before you can succeed. Success and failure doesn’t have to be so binary. Furthermore, what’s intriguing about unexploited strengths and opportunities is how you can miss them. If you’re too focused on improving your weaknesses, you forget you have unique strengths. How can you find opportunities only by focusing on your weaknesses? With big projects, when do you exactly fail? Why wait until the final failure? Opportunities are vehicles to accelerate your success if you’re able to find them. Let’s explore 3 simple ways to find opportunity. Continue Reading!
How life metrics can benefit you.
What metrics does society really care about? To this day, most of our work goes to achieving more or less the same old American dream. You know, the house, the car, and a big backyard. Most people generally will ask you what you do or where you live. This makes sense, because it gives an idea of where you currently are in the American dream. What doesn’t make sense however, is if you go about your own American dream differently and people disapprove. There’s a dissonance between societal metrics and alternative roads to success. So how should you go about monitoring your life? Continue Reading!
Did you know that coconuts can travel several thousand miles, float up to 110 days, land on an island, and still be able to germinate? Palm trees have withstood the test of time, going back to the Eocene period. What’s even more fascinating about palm trees? They can endure strong hurricanes! Can we learn from palm trees and tap into this strength? Definitely. We usually like figuring out complicated answers, but it only takes looking outside at Mother Nature to see how she deals with adversity. You’ll learn how to apply 4 simple strategies to build your mental strength. Continue Reading!
Quotes are inspiring because they have so much wisdom packed into a phrase. They’re like small reminders from free mentors of all walks of life for you to take. They can lift you up, guide you, and motivate you. A good quote can give you the worth of a lifetime! Here are 19 insightful quotes from people that one way or another have influenced and shaped our world:
How to take difficult action and keep at it.
Thunderstorms are highly unpredictable, fascinating, and intense. As the warm, tropical, humid air moves upward, it collides with polar cold fronts. It then quickly condenses into droplets that fall down, growing and crashing into each other to begin what could turn into a thunderstorm. The high-altitude clouds make the sky turn into such interesting colors. Sometimes a deep orange or yellow, and other times purple with a bit of a pink hue. With a bit of luck, you can see lightning from afar as the storm approaches. The nuances between doing vs taking action are subtle yet powerful, like an air mass that doesn’t collide with a cold front vs a focused thunderstorm.
How personal missions get you closer to achieve your dreams.
Imagine living several thousand years ago. There would be so many places to discover and things to learn. The maps would have blank spaces, because they were a work-in-progress. How big could the Earth be? What things would be over the horizon? The world was an undiscovered place, and the Europeans sailed out to find out. They went on missions.
16th century evangelists were going on missions. Explorers were going on missions. Conquerors, scientists, and friars set sail. All were serious about their missions. But it’s puzzling how they sailed so confidently into the unknown world. How could they know what resources they would need and how much to take? Where would they land? Did explorers have any systemic way to go about their missions? Continue Reading!
How to leverage symbolism.
Anywhere you look you’ll see many symbols: political, religious, social, and commercial symbols. However, today they’re used almost exclusively by marketing. Companies understand the economic value of having recognized brands and the relationship we have with them. When you think of a brand, you have an image, a perception of its quality, and its service (among other things). Here’s a thought: Symbols are necessary. Nations have all sorts of symbols like national anthems, holidays, and their coat of arms. Even States have symbols such as the State’s bird, rock, fruit, motto, etc. Could we be ignoring the power behind symbols? What happens to people without symbols? We’ll see why we need to tap into the upside of symbolism. Continue Reading!
Lessons from the Grand Canyon.
On a summer visit to Grand Canyon National Park, a park ranger told me: “You know, it’s about perspective. The Copper Canyon in Mexico is deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon, but it’s covered with vegetation. Here, the rock layers show perfectly, which makes it look much more massive. We also have the marketing going for us—the Grand Canyon.” Perspective, like the lack of vegetation in the Grand Canyon, can make a world of difference in how you perceive what you see. In other words, how to gain perspective is how to gain depth in your thinking, creativity, and problem solving skills. Let’s explore 3 ways to gain perspective.